When you take a bird’s eye view of the logistics landscape, you see the issues facing every company are essentially the same; there’s always limited capacity and an ongoing need to maintain transportation costs as low as possible. This is why the concept of ‘Becoming a Shipper of Choice’ continues and will continue to dominate transportation circles. Companies are always going to try to find a way to work with their carriers to get the capacity they need at the best price. Becoming a shipper of choice is the best strategy to succeed in that. And, RateLinx offers the best way to become a shipper of choice.

Intelligence is the Single Biggest Benefit

There are many benefits RateLinx provides shippers in their quest to attain shipper-of-choice status. I think the single biggest benefit is the intelligence that the Enterprise Suite provides both the shipper, and the carrier. By having clean, detailed data, the shipper has clear line of sight to the different charges that are causing their transportation spend to increase. Because the intelligence is integrated, the shipper can also determine if there is an operational issue which can be resolved through some effort on their side, or if it is a service that they are asking the carrier to perform.

The carrier also benefits from this data by having a transparent view into the shipments and knowing exactly what the requirements are. This allows the carrier to cost the freight more accurately and removes the risk that is baked into the customer’s rate because the guess work is gone. ShipLinx TMS allows the shipper and the carrier to put pricing in place that fits the carrier’s operational need while also meeting the shippers price and service requirements. Carriers want to haul the freight to and from the locations that they can provide the service the shipper wants at the price that allows them to make money.

Transparency Helps Shippers and Carriers

As we wrote about earlier in this series, a key step in reaching shipper of choice status is faster payment to carriers. Many companies want to pay their carrier within their contract terms such as Net 30 or Net 45, whatever is in their contact. Companies struggle with this because they have a large manual effort to ensure that they’re being billed accurately for a shipment that they created. If they think the rate is wrong, they will short-pay the invoice. The carrier then has to work with the customer to resolve the issue. With Intelligent Invoice ManagementSM (IIM) in the Enterprise Suite, all the manual work is removed and there is total transparency. Any rate discrepancies are clearly identified immediately with the carrier. This allows the shipper and the carrier to have a discussion around fixing any rating issues, clearing up any misunderstanding in the rules, and paying the invoice correctly the first time. The issuance of a balance due invoice by the carrier becomes obsolete and the carrier now sees the shipper as paying faster because there are no outstanding balance due invoices and everything is paid within terms.

Faster payment also helps the shippers because now the carriers know that they won’t have a collection problem and there won’t be any surprises around a short-paid invoice. On the other side, shippers will no longer need to accept a certain level of risk to pay invoices more quickly by building in a higher-than-necessary rate tolerance (often tens of dollars per invoice). IIM rates the invoices and uses a $0.03 rate tolerance because there are typically 3 times that a rate has to be rounded and each time can account for a penny. With this type of precision and consistency, since a computer is doing this and not a person, it’s very easy and fast to get any rate discrepancies identified and solved.

Visibility and Intelligence

By having Integrated Shipping Intelligence’ through the Enterprise Suite, a shipper can focus on the right solutions with their carriers. Should the shipper focus more on floor charge shipments or detention charges? What is really going to allow the shipper to meet their goals? The carrier is also now allowed to share in the conversation in an objective manner. Many carriers have commented that they appreciate the real-time feedback to the invoicing which allows them to correct any pricing errors before they snowball into a large mountain of short-paid invoices. The visibility makes the shipper easier to work with which lowers their cost, which is the big advantage of becoming a shipper of choice.

If you would like to discuss how the Enterprise Suite can help you to get the capacity you need at the best price by becoming a shipper of choice, reach out to me here.